W.I.T.S. – Certified Personal Training

National Fall Semester Bonus Special

Register this month for the Certified Personal Trainer or Group Fitness Instructor course and get your choice of one of these bonus career extras FREE, with CECs included!

VIEW COURSE LOCATIONS

**Plus Get a W.I.T.S. Retest Voucher for 50% Off (If Needed)

Bonus Option 1
Fitness Management Certificate CourseFitness Management Certificate Online Course
Bonus Option 2
Nutrition and Nutritional ConceptsNutritional Concepts Online Course
build-salesStrategies To Build Sales Online Course

Personal Training Certifications

Successful Certified Personal Trainers need more than book knowledge. Therefore, it is crucial to know the effects of exercise and how the body will react to it. In addition you need the practical mastery of the skills in assessing a client and how to take competent steps to physically and mentally get your client to the promise land of measurable lifestyle results. Learn More

NCCA Accredited Program - Seal of Accreditation

Welcome to W.I.T.S. (World Instructor Training Schools)

The World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) has been leading for 25 years to enhance public safety by developing and administering true health and fitness certification programs.  Furthermore, jobs in this industry are projected to grow 16% into 2021.  As a result, W.I.T.S. can certify you in personal training, group fitness, older adult and other disciplines in this industry.

The W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer is the only organization to receive NCCA accreditation in the practical skills and the theoretical knowledge.  In addition, W.I.T.S. courses are at hundreds of neighborhood colleges and universities with college credits through the American Council on Education (www.acenet.edu).  Check out how we prepare our graduates for a solid career.

fitness trainer certification

What W.I.T.S. Students and Graduates Are Saying

“I believe that the Internship requirement by WITS is invaluable! It forced me into a real training environment with real clients. I worked with 5 different trainers and was exposed to different training styles as well as very varied client ability levels. I saw first-hand how to interact successfully with clients and to keep them moving through their exercises. The Internship gave me the confidence I needed when I first began working as a Personal Trainer – I was hired at the facility I interned at!!! Get Moving!” — Carole K.     View More Testimonials & References

Lifecycle of a Personal Trainer: the high cost of low skills training

At one time, personal training was considered a glamour job, and anyone who had their own personal trainer was ranked among the beautiful people. It was also a lucrative and viable career path for fitness professionals who had enough knowledge and charisma to attract well-heeled clients and help them reach their goals. 

That all changed when gyms began to put the hammer down on freelancers and hired their own trainers at low wages, keeping the lion’s share of revenues for themselves. Over time, that business model all but destroyed personal training as a sustainable career path and caused gym owners to shoot themselves in the foot with a costly cycle of employee training and turnover. 

The below infographic illustrates the typical Lifecycle of the average personal trainer:

Lifecycle of a Personal Trainer

The High Cost of Turnover

Low conversions, low client retention rates, dissatisfied customers and high trainer turnover all cost gym owners enormous amounts of money each year.

These important metrics should be applied to evaluate the performance of any gym’s personal training program:

  • The annual turnover rate for personal trainers runs between 80-90% on average: the optimal employee turnover rate is 10% or less.
  • The minimally acceptable sales conversion rate is 40%, and the optimal rate is 70%. To calculate this metric, divide the number of conversions by the number of prospects a trainer has pitched.
  • The optimal annual client retention rate is 80-90%. Divide the number of clients lost by the number retained.

Ironically, most gym owners don’t bother to track these metrics, and many are unaware of them. For trainers, having quantitative performance metrics would empower them to self-evaluate and monitor their own job performance. Yet in most cases, trainers have no idea what good job performance looks like. 

Factors Contributing to Trainer Turnover

Many people pursue a personal training career because they have a true passion for fitness and want to share it with others. Yet the actual demands of the job can quickly erode a new trainer’s enthusiasm, especially if they don’t feel valued or get the necessary training and support to succeed. 

Factors that contribute to high trainer turnover include:

  • Inadequate job training and poorly defined performance criteria
  • Erratic scheduling, with long hours and split shifts
  • Low pay, with minimal opportunities for advancement
  • Pressure to sell with inadequate sales training and support
  • Burnout from overtraining

The Importance of Skills Training

Most new trainers are hired based on academic credentials, or on a particular brand of certification. Yet during the screening and hiring process, critical skills training and experience is often overlooked. 

This problem partially stems from an antiquated business model that is still applied today. In the early days of fitness clubs, back in the 1970s, very few employees came to the table with any type of credentials or experience, and skills training took place on the job. In most cases, senior employees were responsible for training new hires. Then, as now, gym employee turnover was high.

The old-school model no longer works for several reasons: 

  • Personal training was not offered as a service by most gyms until the early 2000s, but the business model was never updated to include this new employee demographic
  • The job of Personal Trainer demands much higher levels of knowledge and skills than the fitness advisor of old
  • Personal training is a substantial revenue generator, and demands more attention from management to reach its potential
  • Asking a senior trainer to help on-board a new hire imposes an inherent conflict of interest, since trainers often compete for new clients

 

It makes sense to hire new trainers who already possess knowledge, skills and experience. Doing so will increase conversions, elevate client retention rates and reduce costly employee turnover, resulting in higher profits. 

Skills Training for Personal Trainers

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam.
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates that perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online.
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals.
  • Internship program available to cement your skills.
  • Friendly customer service and support.
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips.

Find Your Niche and Build Your Fitness Career

Build your skills and knowledge and become a top trainer. Choose from any of our professional fitness course for skills training and certification:

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders today, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

 

 

Personal Trainer Certification: Why Skills Training Matters

Not all personal trainer certification programs are alike.

Imagine needing emergency surgery to have your appendix removed. The hospital staff assures you that the attending surgeon has a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, which happens to be the alma mater of the hospital’s surgical director. You feel at ease as the anesthesiologist prepares your IV. But just as you’re getting drowsy, the nurse comments that your procedure will be the doctor’s very first foray into the operating room, since he earned his degree online. 

Of course, this scenario is unlikely — although not totally unheard of — in the medical arena. Surgeons go through years of study, practical skills training and supervised practice before they are allowed to take the lead in a major operation. Sadly, that is often not the case with personal training. 

Personal Trainer Key Skills

Many people think that a personal trainer’s only job duties are to teach exercise, preach about nutrition and keep clients motivated. But a personal trainer’s key skills encompass much, much more. 

Here are just a handful of important personal trainer skills that require hands-on learning:

  • Record keeping and business management: Personal trainers have a lot of information to keep track of: client records, progress charts, workouts, account history and much more! Most certification programs fail to touch on this.
  • Conducting and interpreting each client’s health history: Personal training clients come to us with a plethora of health conditions and a broad range of medications. It is essential that you are able to ask the right questions and know how to interpret and use this information to protect your client and yourself. 
  • Measuring and monitoring vital statistics: It is impossible to accurately measure heart rate and blood pressure without hands-on experience, with a variety of different subjects. Online certification programs cannot help you with this.
  • Conducting standardized fitness assessments: Standardized fitness assessments for strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness give us a baseline against which we can measure our clients’ progress. This is another skill that requires hands-on practice and experience, which you cannot get online. 
  • Personalized goal-specific client programming: The secret to becoming a successful personal trainer is being able to help your clients reach and exceed their goals. Learning the basics of goal-oriented programming is an essential skill that requires hands-on practice.
  • Teaching proper exercise form and execution: There is a lot more to an effective exercise program than picking up weights and putting them down again. As trainers, we need to cue our clients on correct alignment and perfect execution, to prevent injury and attain desired results. 
  • Injury prevention and management:  Any type of physical activity comes with inherent risks. As a trainer, it is your job to teach your clients to exercise safely, and to provide guidance and support throughout each session. These are hands-on skills that cannot be learned from a textbook or video. 
  • Lifestyle counseling: Every client brings their own unique lifestyle history to the table. As trainers, we work with our clients to identify negative lifestyle behaviors and help them make better choices. Role playing gives you essential skills for communicating with your clients, in ways that help them evolve, without making them feel judged. 

How to Get Skills Training 

Sadly, the majority of certification programs do not equip you to apply practical skills as a trainer.  Most are self-study programs that certify you once you pass a written online test. Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Busy studios and big box gyms provide minimal training for new hires. They most often throw you into the fray, and let you sink or swim. As you can imagine, this leads to high turnover and a lot of discouraged and disillusioned trainers who spent their hard-earned money to get certified. It also leads to dissatisfied clients, and hurts our industry as a whole. 

World Instructor Training Schools is the only certification program that teaches and conducts research-based testing for personal trainer practical skills. 

Skills Training for Personal Trainers

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Internship program available to cement your skills
  • Friendly customer service and supportOnline continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders today, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

Personal Trainer Certification: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

If you have been thinking about beginning a new career as a certified personal trainer, you probably have a lot of questions. Before making a commitment and spending money on a certification program, review theses answers to the most popular questions about personal trainer certification:

  1. Do I need a degree in exercise science to be a certified personal trainer?

    Although there are one or two certification providers who require a degree, most do not have an academic prerequisite.

  1. Am I too old to become a personal trainer?

    You can become a personal trainer at any age, and provide valuable services to people who need you. W.I.T.S. trainers range in age from late teens to late seventies. It’s never to late to make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

  1. Do I have to be super fit to become a personal trainer?

    Trainers come in all shapes and sizes, and not all have bulging muscles or a defined six-pack. Some of the best trainers have struggled with obesity, disability and health issues. They often have amazing testimonials and find it easy to empathize with their clients. A side bonus of working as a trainer is the opportunity to improve your own fitness. 

  1. How much money do personal trainers make?

    The national average according to fitness industry surveys is $29 per hour.  Obviously that amount varies by city and state, with some earning higher wages and some lower.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is $19.15 per hour. For some odd reason, they combined the two jobs into one statistic, even though personal trainers typically make much more.  In fact, many trainers who become business owners or independent contractors earn 6-figure incomes!!

  1. What is the job market like for personal trainers?

    To quote the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Gyms, studios and individuals are always looking for competent and professional trainers.  That shared, most certification programs qualify a trainer with a only a written exam. Inadequate training in part accounts for the  80% turnover rate in some gyms. In other words, in most clubs, if 10 Certified Personal Trainers are hired today, 8 of them will be out of a job in a year.  Written-only testing does not prepare most trainers for long term success. You need practical skills training as well.

  1. Do personal trainer jobs have benefits?

    Many employers, especially big box gyms and studio chains, offer a benefits package. 

  1. How long does it take to become a certified personal trainer?

    Many certification programs are self-paced, self-study programs that offer no structure, support or deadlines. You simply register to test when you are ready. W.I.T.S. offers live professionally taught courses at colleges and universities nationwide, along with online programs. All our certification options offer interactive support from qualified instructors. Our live classes include 5 weeks of labs and lectures, plus on-site testing, for a total of 6-7 weeks.

  1. How much does it cost to become certified as a personal trainer?

    Certification programs vary in price, but you can expect to get what you pay for. W.I.T.S. offers competitive prices with easy payment options. 

  2. Will I be ready to start working right after getting my personal trainer certification?

    If you do a self-study program and pass a written test, you will not necessarily be ready to work, and you will most likely need additional training. W.I.T.S. is the only NCCA Accredited certification with BOTH  a hands-on practical skills component and an internship option. Once you are certified, you will able to walk into any job, ready to work.

  3. Which personal trainer certification is best?

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduate who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.